Abigail Boyd, Greens MP and Spokesperson for Animal Welfare, met with the Martindale community this week to hear their concerns about Greyhound Racing NSW’s (GRNSW) proposed Greyhound Kennels.
The proposal is for a large-scale greyhound boarding and retraining facility, which would house 400 greyhounds in 20 blocks with 20 kennels in each block. The facility would be built in the Martindale Valley, right amongst it’s close knit, rural community, near Denman. The proposed facility would be a stone’s throw from the Wollemi National Park, home to many endangered species, including Spotted-Tailed Quolls and a colony of Brush-Tailed Rock Wallabies.
Other issues for the community include:
- The current development application indicates the waste is to be pumped out monthly and the sludge spread on paddocks next to the creek, clearly unacceptable to neighbours and downstream water users.
- Too close to existing residents, who will be suffer from the noise and odour from the 400 dogs, plus the visual intrusion.
- Unpredictable water availability- cease-to-pump rules apply when creek levels are low
- Floods will make the facility inaccessible by road.
- The area is extremely bushfire prone. The facility is close to the top of Martindale Valley which is served by a single lane road and quite dangerous when filled with smoke.
- The workforce of around 20 will be low paid or volunteer, and will have to travel a considerable distance on that narrow road.
Residents of the Martindale community are objecting to this facility. It does not reflect community wants or needs, nor does it meet the NSW Government industry reforms and standards for animal welfare. Furthermore, it should be considered as an integrated development and require separate planning permission under NSW planning SEPP 33 Hazardous and Offensive Development.
Last month the Coalition introduced GRNSW and this DA proposal as a new industry to support local jobs. Vulnerable regional community need industries that will create sustainable jobs not be exploited by gaming industries waste product. It also dilutes the current viticulture critical industry cluster zoning.
Ms Boyd said:
“The greyhound racing industry has lost its social licence, and are now, behind the facade of rehoming and rehabilitation, trying to place intensive boarding facilities in isolated and inaccessible areas in an attempt to hide their sins, rather than clean up their act.”
“The industry is trying to ram through this proposal with sham consultation and inadequate consideration for the needs of the local community and environment. It’s the wrong facility, in the wrong place, for the wrong reasons.
“The greyhound racing industry continues to discard ex-racing greyhounds at an alarming rate, and such rehoming facilities cannot make up for the fact that this is a cruel industry that should be shut down.
“The Martindale community are at risk of becoming a dumping ground for an industry that is injuring, killing and euthanising thousands of dogs every year in the name of profit.”
This week Ms Boyd discussed the proposal with key animal welfare stakeholders, who all agree that the facility does not align with community-recognised standards of animal welfare and would only serve to facilitate GRNSW in their attempt to warehouse greyhounds who are no longer viable or profitable by the industry’s standards. This facility proposal from GRNSW is another example of their continuous exploitation of greyhounds for profit.
The Martindale community has gained over 800 signatures in an online petition demanding the NSW Government stop this proposal from going ahead, noting the poor community consultation and lack of consideration for the surrounding environment.